There’s nothing quite like heading away on a family trip to the mountain: the freeze breeze, the excitement of waking up early to make some lines in the snow, the cozy nights spent around the fire – it’s what dreams are made of. If you’re ever been on a skiing vacation, then you know very quickly that the price of things can get a bit intimidating. Beyond the accommodation costs, which come with almost all holidays, there are things like gear rental or purchasing and the ski field passes which can become expensive very fast. If you’re like me and can’t imagine not going away to the snow this year, read on to learn some of my top tips for saving money on your ski holiday:
You’re unlikely to find many savings if you leave things to the last minute for heading to the snow. If you purchase them months in advance, mountain passes tend to be quite reasonable. My simple trick: if you’re planning for cheap ski holidays, you might want to look into a season pass. If you buy these 4-6 months in advance, when they’re on “Early bird special” you might find the price comparable to just two or three days at the mountain, providing you with some extra days for no extra cost. Some ski fields around the world also promote their ski field on coupon websites, where you can find deals such as –two for one day passes – this is a great way to keep costs down. Accommodation tends to book up around the mountains, especially for key holiday periods throughout the year. Booking accommodation early in advance means that not only do you get more properties to choose from, but you may have more leverage in bargaining for a cheaper rate!
If you’re a family with children that enjoys ski holidays, you’re going to quickly realise how fast children grow out of their ski gear. For this reason I always suggest finding good quality second hand gear – both in terms of clothes and equipment – if that’s an option in your area. You may not be able to find everything second hand, but finding a few items can really help reduce your overall costs and can add up to a big difference if you have a few children. If second hand isn’t an option in your area, the best time of year to buy ski gear is towards the end of the season for the following year. You can find some pretty amazing deals in end of season sales and if you are already sure you will be heading to the mountain the following year, this is probably the best way to buy any thing you need for hitting the slope.
If you’re heading away to the mountain, but not sure whether your kids will fall in love with skiing like you have, or are not sure it’s going to become an annual holiday, why not consider borrowing or renting the gear? You can even do a combination of both things to ensure you save as much money as possible. If you don’t have any gear at all and know the family will need a full kit out of gear, check to see if the mountain/s you’re planning to visit do any special rental gear and day pass combos. Take a moment to post on Facebook to see if there are any friends or family members that can loan you some gear.
If you’re going to take time off to go on a ski holiday, why not plan your actual skiing days to be during the week. This has a few benefits, firstly the mountain is usually very quiet during the week compared to the weekends – this is for obvious reasons as many of the other skiiers are busy at work or school. But there are a few more advantages you might not have thought of. Property prices for renting villas or holiday homes shoot up during the weekend, there’s more competition so the nightly rate is almost always significantly higher during the weekends. Many fields around the world also offer a discount if you choose to visit during the week, or even have special season passes that are for use during the week days at a considerably reduced rate. This is a simple way to reduce the cost of your ski holiday, while also getting a little more privacy on the mountain – win win!
Many fields around the world offer special discounted rates for children, often half the price of the adult cost. But that’s not where the special discounts end. If you have a student ID, don’t forget to bring it along as you may be able to snag a deal on the cost of a day pass. Likewise this is something to consider when you’re buying a season pass – often they will be considerably cheaper for people who have student IDs or are under the age of 16 or 18. If you are in the military, particularly in the United States of America, you may be eligible for a special rate as well. The best bet is to remember to take any special IDs along with you because you might be surprised by how much you can save!
Food on the mountain can be extremely expensive. In my experience it is not uncommon to pay two or three times the price what you would pay for a drink, sandwich, or anything else normally when at the mountain. If you find the hot food at the mountain too irresistible after a few cold chair lifts, why not at least bring some snacks and drinks with you so that you can save money. This is especially important if you’re taking young children or teens to the mountain – a few packets of chips, muesli bars, fruits such as apples and even little bags of nuts can make for the perfect snack on the mountain.
Ski holidays are such a great way to spend time with your loved ones. There’s nothing quite like seeing your children do their first run on the mountain, or the joy on their faces as they fly down the slopes. The cozy evenings will be perfect for curling up around the fire and reflecting on your fun adventures during the day. If you’re heading away on a skiing holiday this year, be sure to keep these 6 tips in mind so you can save money on your next ski holiday!